On the Embedded World, Comprion has launched their latest product line for NFC testing, the CL Development Line. It can be used for validating the interface design, for preparing the certification, for functional testing, and for verifying interoperability. You could think that a technology like NFC which is not brand-new would meanwhile work smoothly. “But that’s not the case!” says Dr. Michael Jahnich, Development Head for NFC Test Solutions at Comprion. “We observe recurring problems in the field.“
This has four main reasons: First of all, the market is inundated with new NFC devices and applications. Technologies are melting together. This results in a great number of NFC devices that have not been tested according to universal standards.
Secondly, the standards often do not cover everything, because the NFC application demands conformance to its own specifications. Thirdly, closed and in itself functioning NFC systems like, for example, access control or contactless payment are extended by use of the smartphone.
This can cause interoperability issues. Finally, when individually tested NFC modules are integrated, for example, into car door handles, terminals, or machines, the used materials may interfere with sensitive NFC fields.
“Many of these problems could become real showstoppers and cause expensive recalls. This can be avoided by testing early in the development phase,“ explains Jahnich. The new CL Development Line has been especially designed for NFC development testing and can be used in the following areas:
Pre-conformance testing – reducing expensive test lab hours
Upfront, EMVCo- and NFC Forum-compliant test benches can ensure that the NFC device conforms to the specifications and thus optimally prepare it for certification. This reduces expensive lab times in the test house.
Functional testing – customised NFC device testing
With the help of APIs, it is possible to write and run customised tests – beyond the standards. This way, MNOs or application developers can ensure that NFC devices comply with their special requirements.
Interoperability testing – finding error causes
In case of problems, errors on the contactless interface can be displayed and visualised. A powerful analysis software makes it possible to localise potential error sources and to resolve the problems in the lab.
Design validation – optimising the design
The solution can identify the magnetic field in its form and strength and thus define measures for optimising the interface, for example, when integrating antennas. Thus, interference factors caused by surrounding materials can be identified and removed.
The CL Development Line is a modular system consisting of different hardware and software components as well as unique antennas and accessories that can be configured to match the particular test case.
“You don’t pay for software and features that you don’t use, but only for those that you actually need. On the other hand, the system can also be extended by adding further components so that you can cover other application areas,“ Jahnich is glad.